On the subject of fear – you have two choices.

Everyone experiences fear at some point during their life time. It’s an emotion that can crop up at any time about anything and we all know that there are some unique phobias out there. I recently came across Globophobia, the fear of balloons and the sound of them popping.

I think I can understand what Globophobia must feel like, especially when I am in the presence of toddlers playfully jumping around on balloons. There’s this tension in the air. They are unaware that at any second the fun is going to be over. Watching them, all that goes through my mind is

“It’s gonna pop, It’s gonna pop, It’s gonna pop!”

And then it does. Show’s over. Globophobia is one of many unique and uncommon fears, that can actually be quite life altering and crippling for the sufferer. It can be unclear how such a fear started and possibly even trickier to remedy.

Moving away from the subject of unique phobias. If we reflect for a moment on the fears and worries most of us carry around in our heads on a day-to-day basis; with a bit of analysis, we can take steps to deal with them through realising that there are certain choices available to us.

The majority of the fears we hold on to can be put in the category of “not real”. These fears generally arise as a result of:

1. Projecting our past experiences in to the present/future and assuming they will happen to us again;

2. Observing the experiences of other people and assuming that we will experience exactly the same as they did; and

3. Having petty and groundless beliefs.

Once you have managed to identify those fears that fit nicely in to the “not real” category – you can empty your head of them! They are just not worth the energy and valuable brain space.

That’s the majority of our fears. But, there will be a handful of fears that are actually “real”. These are the ones that will result in unfavourable circumstances, or an unwanted loss if not addressed. It’s in relation to these fears that that we should ask ourselves the following questions:

“Which of these fears are in my control?” and

“Which of these fears are out of my control?”

If you discover that the source of a real fear is completely out of your control, then there is very little you can do about it. The best thing you can do is to choose not to waste any more valuable time thinking about it. If the source of a real fear is in your control, the best thing you can do is to take steps to proactively manage it and prevent a loss actually occurring.

Fear can be managed by making a couple of choices. The first is to choose to drop any unreal fears you may be carrying around. The second is to choose to proactively manage the sources of any real fears that you have identified.

Fear can be a major barrier for growth and development. So, it’s important to explore your thinking in the manner above, as a first step in breaking down that barrier. You can discuss fears with a personal development coach, who will help you identify those that are real and unreal. A coach can further assist with the management of fear by helping you explore and rework the unhelpful statements, questions, memories and visualisations that feed your real fears.

Written by Prashant Jadav. For more information about coaching and personal development support, please get in touch here.